As the Dallas Cowboys move onward with their season after a middling 1-1 start, improving the team through trade or free agency feels imperative.
The headlines around the team have focused on quarterback Dak Prescott’s injury and how backup QB Cooper Rush is stepping in, but Dallas was struggling to score before Prescott fractured his thumb.
That feels, in part, due to the Cowboys’ receiving options. CeeDee Lamb was somewhat back to normal with seven catches and 75 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, but only had 29 yards in Week 1. Noah Brown came up in a big way against the Bengals as well, but the rest of the Cowboys’ options haven’t made big impacts.
If the Cowboys want another option on top of Michael Gallup returning from injury, a cheap move for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Miles Boykin would make a lot of sense. Boykin’s stock is low right now, but the former Baltimore Ravens receiver has shown he has a nose for the endzone and offers great utility in other areas besides catching the ball.
Boykin Joins Steelers After Ravens Stint
There’s a lot to like about Boykin, and that was apparent from the year he entered the league: 6’4″, 220-pounds and a knack for great catches. NFL.com’s draft profile credited his ability to make “leaping grabs” and his “rare size” and athleticism.
Boykin joined the Ravens in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft after his college career at Notre Dame, and he immediately became a useful redzone tool for Baltimore. According to PFR, Boykin caught three touchdown passes in his rookie season, and brought in a total of 198 receiving yards.
He stepped up his contributions in 2020, upping his touchdown count to four that season while amassing 19 receptions for 266 yards. Prospects for 2021 were initially good, but a hamstring injury forced Boykin to the injury reserve and it began a tough stretch for the former Notre Dame star.
The Ravens star struggled to earn offensive snaps after he recovered, playing just 35 in eight appearances. By April of 2022, Baltimore cut Boykin and the Steelers swooped him up.
A change of pace hasn’t helped his offensive snap counts, as he played just eight offensive snaps in the Steelers’ first three games. The key reason why he is active for Pittsburgh and was often active for the Ravens is his special teams ability. He has played 47 special teams snaps for Pittsburgh, which is proof of his underlying value as a tackler and blocker.
Why a Trade Makes Sense for Cowboys
Dallas needs another dynamic for their passing game and Boykin can be that. The special teams work is incredibly useful, but is essentially an initial return on the investment with the hope for more. While the Steelers receiver isn’t a known name, he has done well with limited opportunities, he just hasn’t had many since the beginning of the 2021 season.
But the surface stats showing a drop in performance means that Dallas could be able to land the receiver for cheap, likely the team’s 2023 seventh-round pick. Getting a player who is up-to-speed on the season and can help in a variety of ways is a steal at that price.
At worst, Boykin is a decent depth option and a special teams ace. The upside could be tremendous, as Boykin has shown his ability to finish catches in the endzone. Whether Rush or Prescott is the quarterback, that is something Dallas needs.